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New Sounds and New Horizons

vGBThere’s something really special about being in a band that’s played original music together for multiple decades. You develop an unspoken language and an unconscious communication; a strong, silent camaraderie. For those of us lucky enough to experience it, we discover a shared commitment to (or obsession with) the ephemeral phenomenon of music. Your band becomes your touchstone for reality and sanity. You can’t be crazy if others share your values, right?

My brotherhood with Paul, Clayton, Steve, Andy and others in our little musical universe over these many years is one of the great gifts of my life, and one of the joys of returning to Boston from LA.

Music. You can’t touch it and you can’t see it. The inspiration or motivation to create and perform is primal and it feels holy. When we connect with others through music, we can feel both socially validated and stigmatized at the same time; your band provides the clear view and emotional rudder on this often turbulent voyage.

Musicians can also become isolated and complacent. I felt this coming on over the years and got a new view after living in LA  where I became part of a large and diverse music community. I brought this perspective back to Boston. The other band members were able to go in other directions while I was living out West, and we kept our ties with annual gigs and remote recording projects. Now we resume our regular schedule with a renewed perspective and fresh outlook.

We start 2018 with a stripped down series of “salon” gigs (informal and intimate) with Paul, Clayton and I as a trio, focusing on three-part harmonies that helped create the van Gogh Brothers sound. We are mining deep, rarely-performed tracks and new compositions– all with a focus on vocals– as a re-starting point for a deeper aural texture.

Old pal Kelly Riley invited us to join her at Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville on Tuesday, January 23rd. We’re looking forward to playing with Kelly again- we used to play the original House of Blues together often in the mid-late ’90’s– and to test drive our trio as the foundation of a new musical journey.

Kathy and I managed to move into a new home in the Boston area just before year-end. We are gradually getting settled and, despite the recent extreme Northeast weather, are thrilled to be here. So now I’m beginning to look ahead, and am booking salon and full band gigs for the coming months both here and in LA. Scarlet and I have the first two tracks of her solo EP sketched out and we are planning to record these and other tracks with the van Gogh Brothers (and very special guests), also in the coming months.

Other work percolates along, both here and in LA, and I also hope to get over to the UK sometime this spring. Life is big and full.

I hope you all saw the recent wolf moon– another super moon– a strong winter moon that filled the sky. It was beautiful here in the Northeast and the cold, clear air reminded me of why I love this place. There is beauty everywhere.

Stay warm and stay well. I hope to see you soon,

JC